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Old 01-27-2012, 01:18 PM   #1
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Making the jump to injected CO2. Don't some research. Still a bit intimidated.

I would like to run what I think I understand past you guys and you can let me know how far off base I am in my assumptions

First some background. This is a 75 gallon community tank. Light are 48" Dual Bulb T5 HO fixture with 2 54w bulbs.

The water from my tap is very high on both the kH and pH scales. Like off the end of the scale high.

I started out Fish only. Eventually decided I wanted to add some plants. But was resistant to CO2 more out of fear than anything else.

I have finally come around to the idea of injected CO2. It will make my plants happy, and it should also lower the pH levels of the tank itself, making it a happier place for a broader range of fish. So I a double-win right? Or is that my first false assumption?

So I will need a tank (I am thinking a 10 gallon) and then a regulator to go on top. The Milwaukee MA957 seems to be a very popular entry level regulator and was the one I was looking at purchasing. Good choice?

After that point a reactor or diffuser is needed right (along with some CO2 tubing)? What would you guys recommend. It appears that some reactors are really quite expensive. What do you guys recommend in this regard (I am not handy when it comes to DIY stuff, just sayin)

And finally we get to the drop-checker or other measuring device. My main question when it comes to this is that the fact that my water kH is so high, would it skew the results of a drop checker? I am terrible at chemistry. My gut feeling is no, it doesn't matter what kind of water you have in the aquarium, the drop checker will work regardless. Is that correct?

Also tell me anything that I am stupidly missing entirely.

As always thanks for all the great information.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:58 PM   #2
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eseaseongear.com has the reg, solenoid, needle valve, bubble counter, and 10' of tubing for $87. Good choice IMO.

Diffuser is really up to you. I DIY'd an inline reactor hooked to the output of my canister. No bubbles in the tank that way. Some like atomizers, some bells, some glass/ceramic, some ladders, some powerheads... just personal preference.

Drop checker won't be skewed because your water plays no part in its measurement. you use a 4dkh solution and pH test solution (bromethyl blue) so it's always consistent.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:08 PM   #3
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Thanks a lot.

I kinda dig the bubbles, so no worries about bubbles in the tank.

I will do some checking on the different devices.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:43 PM   #4
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One thing that I want to point out is that I don't have a ton of water movement in my tank.

I have an eheim canister (2217) with a wand output in the tank on one end. So some current but not a ton.

So, 75 gallon with not a ton of water flow. Will any of the diffusers that don't hook into the canister filter really work? I am worried about uneven CO2 throughout the tank. perhaps one of the atomic diffusers placed on the same wall as the wand from the filter output? So the mist would flow up and then hit the output from the filter?

Why am I resistant to an inline reactor to the canister filter? Well basically because I am chicken
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:52 PM   #5
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Well, there's certainly no reason to be chicken. You're basically just adding a 1' piece of PVC in to the return line of the canister. It's certainly no more of a risk than the canister itself in terms of flooding and such... provided you use clamps on the tubing.

I'm not sure how big of a factor flow is regarding dispersing it throughout the water column. I'd think that it's much like o2, in that once it's saturated, the whole body of water will reach equilibrium with itself... with some current anyways. If your intake is on one side and your output on the other, that would be sufficient in my eyes.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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eeek, you just brought up something that I should have thought of a long time ago. So used to HOB filters that it never occurred to me.

So my filters output wand is on the far left side of the aquarium, pushing the flow out down the length of the tank, placed towards the top (like 2-3 inches under the water line).

The filter intake, however, is in the lower left corner of the tank. (as I said, I used HoB's for a long time so it was kinda automatic when I set it up...)

Is this a big deal? I am pretty much positive that in the way I cut my tubing I don't have enough to move the intake down to the other end. Not saying I can't get more tubing, just saying that it isn't something that can happen right away. And if it isn't a big deal, well then I won't worry about it
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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It's probably fine. I've always had my canister intake and output opposite each other so that it had to turn the water over, so to speak. It's probably fine, I just tend to go overboard with things.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:20 PM   #8
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What types of plants do you have? With 2x 54W T5HO bulbs over a 75g you are at medium light, I would say. Unless you plan on keeping some more demanding species, CO2 might not really pay off.

It surely can't hurt anything but typically the CO2 injection is required when you have higher light (2.5wpg+) and are dosing ferts in a tank with lots of stems or more demanding plants.
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:32 AM   #9
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Co2.
If your adding a diffuser on a 75g, I recommend one type. They sera reactor 500 (or any other that work the same way.) The reason for that is , you don't want to waste your co2.
p.s. All reacter are made for 1/4 tube. Don't add adapter to fit it on a 1/2, make your own. You can make your own. It very easy to do, and costs less.
I am a fan of less noise as possible. And Co2 diffuser are loud and wasteful. Same thing for air pumps

Try to get a big Co2 thank. I have a 20 oz on a 32gallons. It last 3 months. So for you it will last 1 months. That's no good.

Drop checker.
Are not affected by the kh.

Low flow.
Because you don't have lots of water movement, its possible that your tubing has some restriction. These restriction are: tubing are to long, pump not adequate, and lastly you have a small restrain (like a adapter that go from 1/2 to 1/4 and back to 1/2) its ok for air, but not water.

You could add a simple pump In your aquarium for more water flow, (i did that). They only one that i recommend is the fan type that its use for reef (forgot the name sorry), its noiseless and it look good. Text me if you need to know the name.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:13 AM   #10
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I am actually a bit on the fence as far as CO2 injection right at this moment. It started out because I am struggling with a case of black brush algae. I am treating that with Excel at the moment.

But since BBA is usually caused by a low amount of CO2 in the water (the fact that I tend to overfeed doesn't help either)... is that got me thinking about CO2 in the first place. I am having some second thoughts.

I have an airstone going on the tank that I might pull out (as that will contribute to quickly off-gasing any CO2 my fish produce). I will continue to treat the BBA with Excel (I am being quite careful) and then see if I can avoid another BBA outbreak by being a better feeder

Thanks guys
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